No matter who you are, or who you claim to be, there lives in all of us a latent violence. Granted, its potential release, its final form, and its ferocity will differ wildly from person to person. Nevertheless, it’s there.
Anyone, if pushed hard enough, will snap. In the book The Four Tendencies (by Gretchen Rubin), she describes a group of people she calls the Obligors. Not as negative as it sounds, most of the world are obligors, they are the salt of the earth, and what keeps the system working. As per their namesake, they are eager to please or more accurately to do well. They are the least likely to be tiresome and think of themselves last, placing all others before themselves. But, push them hard enough and they will morph into what she calls obligor rebellion. Again, as per the namesake, they are no longer as eager to please.
What she is describing in her behavior observations, is the inborn tendency to abscond. The violence in us is like this. We strive to keep it at bay at all times because we want to do well. There is no space for the gunslinger in the modern world, nor do we lynch people on a whim anymore. There is no space for violence at all. The very definition of violence is being broadened daily.
If all of this is true where does that leave us? Especially those who harbor larger caches of violence. Those who have higher tendencies to abscond and those whose violence could become murderous. The answer is surely not a simple one. Locking them all away would be impossible let alone futile. Medicating them is proven useless and eradicating them would be unacceptable based on the very primary of non-violence. Who would get to decide who gets to stay and who must go?
No matter who you are, or who you claim to be, there lives in all of us a latent violence. Who decides?